Dick Bennett (center) coached the UW-Green Bay men’s basketball team from 1985 through 1995 and led the program from relative obscurity to the heights of Division I success.
Friends, family and former players came together for a small gathering at the Kress Events Center on July 17 as the University unveiled a recognition plaque and formally dedicated the Dick Bennett Gym.
Former players returning for the event included (above, from left, with Bennett) Jeff Nordgaard ’96, Gary Grzesk ’96, Pat Taphorn ’89 and Roger Ripley ’90. The players and their spouses were among those who supported the drive to name the gym in Bennett’s honor.
The spacious auxiliary gym is located just inside the main entrance to the two-year-old Kress Events Center. Friends say dedication of a practice gym is most appropriate, given Bennett’s reputation as a master teacher during Division I coaching stops in Green Bay, Madison and Pullman, Wash.
Bennett’s 40-year Hall of Fame career included time as a high school coach in Wisconsin, as architect of UW-Stevens Point’s great NAIA teams and UW-Green Bay’s best Division I teams (with three NCAA tournament appearances and two NIT invites in 10 years), as a Final Four coach for the Wisconsin Badgers, and as rebuilder of the Washington State program with his son, Tony.
Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.